Tuesday, January 18

Omicron variant: what we know about Xevudy, the new treatment authorized in France

A new anti-Covid treatment with synthetic antibodies, Xevudy, has been approved by French health authorities, who deem it promising against infection with Omicron.

Authorized by the High Authority for Health (HAS), the Xevudy treatment manufactured by GSK is intended for people over 12 years of age who have just been infected with the coronavirus and are considered at risk of severe form.

Based on the molecule “sotrovimab”, it is administered intravenously within five days of the onset of symptoms.

“Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody entirely of human origin which has a dual action: a neutralizing action by preventing the virus from infecting new cells and a powerful effector action by eliminating already infected cells”, details the HAS.

Omicron reshuffles the cards

Xevudy is one of the synthetic antibody treatments, several of which have already been authorized since the start of the pandemic. But the arrival of the Omicron variant, more resistant to certain drugs, has made some of the treatments obsolete.

The French health authorities thus stopped recommending Ronapreve from Roche in early January in the event of infection with Omicron, even if it remains authorized against Delta, the previous dominant variant.

Worse, they completely withdrew Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab / etesivimab combination from circulation, its results also being disappointing against Delta.

The best antibody treatment?

Unlike these two treatments, Xevudy “presents a mechanism of action which makes it possible to hope for the maintenance of its effectiveness on the variants, including the Omicron variant”, explains the HAS. “In vitro data suggest that the neutralizing activity of sotrovimab is maintained when that of other available monoclonal antibodies decreases or even disappears”, she explains.

Xevudy is therefore to date the only antibody treatment that can be used after a proven infection with Omicron.

Another treatment of this type, Evusheld from AstraZeneca, is also considered to be effective against Omicron but it is given preventively, especially in people whose body is resistant to vaccination.


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